Many golf clubs provide a service to members on improving their golf. Golf tuition and teaching is generally a low risk activity but there are a few hazards and risks associated with this activity.
It is important that sufficient room is allowed for people to practice. Those learning to play golf may not always strike the ball cleanly which can result in wayward shots.
It is therefore important that:
- Teachers and others are far enough away from the learner to avoid being struck by the club or a wayward golf ball.
- Segregation between learners is such to avoid being struck by a club or a golf ball.
- The practice area is away from normal course activities.
Nets are useful in preventing golf balls from injuring others around the practice area and restricting where they can travel to.
Where nets are used:
- There should be signage warning others the potential for golf ball hazards
- Supporting stanchions should be cushioned to prevent ricochets which may strike the user or others.
- Support stanchions should be strong enough to bear the weight of the nets, even in wet and windy weather.
- Neighbouring houses, roads and properties should be protected from miss hit shots.
- Nets should be whole and do not have holes which golf balls can pass through.
- Where litter, leaves, dead birds have to be removed from nets, there is adequate work at height equipment available for this to be carried out safely.
Young Persons and Teaching Groups
It can be difficult in some cases to adequately control young people particularly when sessions are carried out with a group. Where group classes are offered to young or inexperienced golfers it is important that the following controls are in place:
- Suitable segregation to be set up with cones, poles or similar indicators to highlight dangerous areas that should not be approached whilst a golfer is hitting a shot and paths that should be used to walk to different areas.
- A briefing is carried out at the beginning of an individual's first session describing the potential hazards from a golfer hitting a golf ball, the segregation that is in place for their safety to when golf balls should be retrieved.
The main requirements to manage teaching are:
- Completion of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
- Ensuring that the insurance company is aware of the activity.
- Providing suitable information, instruction and training.
- Maintenance of all equipment being used e.g. netting, etc.
- Good housekeeping of practice area.
- Appropriate signage and information displayed to raise awareness of possible hazards.
Questions to Consider
- Are there routine inspections of teaching area for its condition and where problems are found are repairs carried out promptly?
- Has netting been installed to protect nearby houses and properties from wayward shots?
- Do you have a register for any near miss incidents?
- Is the practice area suitably segregated from normal play area?
The above guidance provides an introduction on the main requirements needed to adequately manage this health and safety topic. If you require further guidance, risk assessments or template documentation on this subject please consult your relevant full guidance health and safety website (BIGGA, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf). If you do not hold the log in details for this website, for your club, please speak to your golf club management team to identify who the account administrator is and request the details.